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Nebraska candidate for governor charged with second fumble incident at 2019 dinner

Another woman has publicly accused Charles W. Herbster, the Republican candidate for governor of Nebraska, approved by former President Donald J. Trump, of groping her at a 2019 Republican rally.

Elizabeth Todsen said Mr. Herbster grabbed her at dinner in Omaha and said the details of the incident reported earlier this month by the Nebraska Examiner were correct.

“For years, I have struggled with an experience I had with Charles W. Herbster,” she said in a statement issued by her attorney. “At a political event in 2019, Herbster fumbled me sexually while greeting me at my table.”

The accusations against Mr. Herbster, a millionaire agribusiness executive who largely self-finances his campaign, has ravaged the often polite world of Nebraska politics ahead of the state’s May 10 primary election. The longtime Trump ally has adopted the former president’s playbook in responding to the allegations, vehemently denying them, suing her first public prosecutor, a state senator, and tying her to her political rivals.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Herbster’s campaigner, Emily Novotny, said Mr. Herbster “absolutely and unequivocally denies all allegations.” She said he “will take legal action” against Mrs Todsen.

Mr. Herbster is a bitter political rival to Governor Pete Ricketts, a period-limited Republican who, like Mr. Herbster has long been a major donor to the Nebraska Republicans. Mr. Ricketts supports Jim Pillen, a member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. Limited public voting for the race shows that Mr Herbster and Mr Pillen are locked in a virtual three-way draw with Brett Lindstrom, a state senator who has attracted support from moderate Republicans and from some Democrats who have changed their party affiliation for to vote in primary.

Mrs Todsen’s report follows an indictment earlier this month from Julie Slama, a senator in the state of Nebraska, who said Mr Herbster also arrested her at the same event.

Ms. Todsen, 26, is a former political aide to lawmakers in the state of Nebraska who now works for a fundraising company in Washington. She did not respond to messages Saturday, and her attorney, Tara Tesmer Paulson of Lincoln, Neb., Said she would not comment further.

Mr. Herbster denied Ms. Slama’s account and has since aired television commercials linking her to her political rivals in the governor’s race, comparing herself to Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, both of whom were accused of inappropriate behavior during their confirmation hearings. Mr. Herbster’s TV ad claims that Mrs. Slama kept in touch with him after the incident and “even invited Herbster to her destination wedding.”

said Mrs Slama on Twitter on Saturday that she was “grateful for Elizabeth’s bravery in coming forward.”

Mr. Herbster and Mr. Trump is scheduled to appear together at a meeting on Sunday in Greenwood, Neb. The event was originally scheduled for Friday night, but Mr. Trump moved it, he said, because of storms predicted for the area.

Kirsten Noyes contributed research.

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